Gratitude Stories – Robyn
Robyn Karp lived with back pain for 15 years. In her case, the culprit was spinal stenosis along with degenerative disc disease. The condition led to pressure on her nerves—and much discomfort, too.
“I had epidurals and all kinds of steroid shots over the years to deal with it,” she explains. “But when the numbness got so bad that I lost feeling in my feet, I knew it was time for surgery.”
Years ago, Robyn’s ex-husband, a surgeon himself, had cervical spinal disease, which required the fusion of vertebrate in his neck. After extensive research, he elected to have his surgery done by Ziya Gokaslan, MD, a world-renowned spine surgeon practicing at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland at the time. So, when it was Robyn’s turn to find the best doctor, she followed the same path.
In October of 2021, Robyn, a Boca Raton, Florida resident, made the trip north to Rhode Island Hospital—where Dr. Gokaslan now serves as Chief of Neurosurgery and Clinical Director of the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute—to undergo a laminectomy and fusion of her L4-L5 discs.
The aim of the procedure was to relieve pressure on the nerves and decrease symptoms such as numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness. It was an instant success. “As soon as the surgery was done, I could feel my feet again,” Robyn says.
But then she had to get back on them.
The next step in Robyn’s recovery began when she was transferred to The Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center at Newport Hospital. For more than a week, Robyn received intensive, interdisciplinary rehabilitation services and therapy in the hospital’s award-winning setting.
"Vanderbilt is an immaculate facility with state-of-the-art equipment and a wonderful team of nurses and therapists.” she says. “They encouraged me to do my best and were genuinely concerned about my health and welfare. The care was superb and exceeded every expectation I had for what a rehab facility should be!" - Robyn Karp
When it was time for Robyn to return to Florida, she was best positioned to continue her rehab at home and realize a full recovery—thanks to the coordinated care she received from two word-class Lifespan care facilities.